Maria Christina Jacobsen Housley

I stumbled upon this history of one of Amanda’s ancestors and I thought I would make it available.  Maria is Amanda’s 4th Great Grandmother.  This was compiled by Emma Housley Auger (1895-1969), Maria’s granddaughter.

George and Maria Housley

George and Maria Housley

Maria Christina Jacobsen Housley was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 6, 1845.  She was the daughter of Jorgen Jacobsen, )born in Svrrup Mill (Feyn) Odense Co. Denmark, on January 20, 1815) and Bertha Kristine Petersen, (born in Vedberks, District of Sol and Copenhagen Amt. Denmark, in the September 16, 1821, the daughter of Hans Petersen and Ellen Catherine Strom).

Grandmother had one older brother, Hans, (born April 18, 1844) and two younger brothers Christian (born November 30, 1846) and Ferdinand (born December 28, 1848).  Two younger sisters Athalie Hedevine (born March 21, 1851) and Rastime Willardine (born December 22, 1853).  All her brothers and sisters were born in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Her parents were married April 9, 1843.  They joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on September 28, 1851.  Her father was ordained to the office of a teacher on May 2, 1853, and a priest on August 22 of the same year.

Her father was an orchardist and rented the place that he lived on.  This place contained a very comfortable house with several rooms, a yard with outbuildings, a good orchard and gardens.

In the year of 1854 with many of their friends, they started their journey Zionward.  My grandmother, who was nine years old at that time.  She remembered the day they left their dearly beloved home forever.  On reaching the beach, a man came to the carriage side and tried his utmost to induce their father to leave his children in Denmark, even if he had to go to Utah himself.  The children were not able to describe their feelings, as the man stood and pleaded with their father on the subject.  The very though of any one wanting to separate them from their parents was very exasperating.

It was only a short time until they boarded the ship (that was an old vessel).  A few minutes into their journey the people began to be sick.  This family was no exception.  After going part of the way, the ship rocked so hard that it dipped water on the dock.  This kept the men working very hard to keep the water pumped off.  There was a great deal of sickness among the people on the vessel and a number of deaths.

After a long, tiresome journey over the ocean, across the Gulf of Mexico and then up the Mississippi River in a steam boat, this large group of Danish people landed in Kansas.  Food had been scarce and they were very hungry.  A man who lived there was very anxious to sell them some meat, so they bought some, cooked it.  And ate it.  Being weak, all the people of the company got sick and many of them died.  Among the dead were my grandmother’s father, two brothers, and two sisters.  After they had eaten and became ill, they learned that the pigs had had cholera so the meat was poison.  They could not buy coffins, so they sewed sheets around their dead and buried them the best they could under the circumstances.  This left my grandmother, Maria, Christian, and their mother to continue the trip across the plains.  My grandmother, Maria, was very sick, nigh unto death, and her mother almost lost her mind.  These were sorrowful days.

After a few days delay (for this is all it took for the deaths and burials to take place), they were fitted out with oxen and cow teams.  Several yoke of oxen and two cows lead each wagon in an independent company.

There were generally two families to each wagon.  Two men would get on each side of the team and try to lead them on the road.  They had several stampedes, for the Daines were not used to driving oxen and the oxen were not used to the Daines.  Not many of the, if any, had ever seen an ox until now.

They saw a great many Indians and buffalo on their way.  They got along nicely with the Indians, and killed some of the buffalo as they came along.  They arrived in Salt Lake City in the fall of 1854.  They managed to get some potatoes, which tasted better to them than anything they had ever eaten in their whole life.

This family has a hard time making a living.  Christian went to work for a man named Jackson Allen in Spanish Fork, Utah.  My grandmother lived with an English family who had recently come from England, by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Shipley.  She was taken in by this family to be raised as one of their own.  She remained with them for about three years.  During this time they taught her to read, write, and to speak the English language.  They also taught her to do house work and to care for the family.  Their children made all manner of fun of her peculiar language.  She felt so badly about this hat she prayed to the Lord, asked him to help her forget the Danish language, and she did forget it.

She met a young Englishman by the name of George Fredrick Housley.  He also lived in Draper and occasionally worked for the Shipley Family.  When she was about 14 years old they were married in Salt Lake City.  They continued to live in Draper for about six years. On February 22, 1862, they were sealed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.  Four children were born to them in Draper, two boys and two girls.

From Draper they moved to Paradise, Cache, Utah, where they purchased a small farm.  Eight more children were born to them, one boy and seven girls.  They were very poor financially and their children had but very little schooling.  Most of them went to work while young to help provide a livelihood.  The boys worked in the canyon cutting logs and hauling lumber.

She was a very good cook, some of her specialties, which her family enjoyed most, were “Nofat Dumplings” which were made from veal, pork, beef, and onions chopped together then seasoned with salt and pepper.  The dough was made with suet and wrapped around the meat and boiled.

“Danish Dumplings” – Heat one quart of milk in a skillet or heavy pan. Stir, while sifting in the flour, until thick.  Remove from heat, cool, add two eggs, and a little baking powder.  Dip by spoonfuls into boiling broth, cover, and continue to boil for about fifteen minutes.

She also made some little cakes out of liver which she called “Faggots”.  It was slightly boiled; ground liver with onions, seasoned with salt and sage.  Make into little cakes by taking a spoonful and wrapping it in a square of leaf lard or lacy lard which comes from the inside of the pig.  Fry just until the lacy lard is golden brown.  “Yorkshire Pudding” – which was just eggs, milk, and flour stirred up together and baked in piping hot grease.

Grandmother was as active in the church as her health would permit.  For some time while her husband was away from home, she went without shoes.  They think this was the cause of her having rheumatic fever.  She went to the Bishop and told him of the condition, he gave her a pair of men’s shoes which she was unable to wear.  From this time on she had a weak heart and then dropsy.  A lot of the time after her sixth or seventh child was born, she was unable to walk, nevertheless, she was quite cheerful and taught her children from a bed or a chair.

She passed away in March, 1896, of dropsy at the age of fifty-one.  After she was placed in the coffin, she continued to bloat until her body burst.  The undertaker tapped the coffin and set a bucket under it to catch the water.  The bucket had to be emptied a time or two during the funeral.

Burial was in the Paradise Cemetery beside her infant daughter, who preceded her in death.